Health & FitnessDental Tips

Should You Try DIY Teeth Whitening Methods or Leave It to the Pros?

With so many people using DIY teeth whitening methods, we must first stop to consider the safety of at-home treatments. But if you want to learn more about professional teeth whitening, visit Fresh Dental Clinic’s office in Lakeview. After all, going to a dentist would certainly be a more effective way to brighten your smile.

Unfortunately, some people may experience unwanted consequences after going to a dental office for a brightening procedure. So is there a way to avoid those kinds of results while still making your teeth whiter?

Well, to begin with, we ought to clarify that brightening our teeth is ultimately a cosmetic change. It’s not necessary unless the discoloration of your teeth is affecting your daily life. And, to be fair, that can happen — some people feel that they’ve lost business opportunities because of their appearance. So wanting to make your teeth look good is only natural.

Still, if the color of your enamel is within the normal range, you shouldn’t feel pressured to alter it. After all, scheduling regular cleanups with your local dentist should be all it takes to keep your teeth looking their best. That being said, many things could temporarily or irreversibly damage your dental health and appearance. For one, you’ll want to avoid tobacco and drinking coffee, tea, wine, and other things that might stain your teeth.

Additionally, having poor dental hygiene habits could also make your teeth appear dark, dull, and yellowish. In many cases, the off-putting pigment is simply the result of plaque buildup, which can be taken care of by a deep cleaning procedure. But usually, a good toothpaste and proper brushing technique should be all you need to keep your teeth clean and bright.

What Are the Best Teeth Whitening Methods Available to the Average Consumer?

Now that we are aware that teeth whitening procedures aren’t a necessity, let’s talk about what we could do if we wanted to restore our smile to their former glory anyway. What kind of procedures would the average family dentist be able to provide?

What Are the Best Teeth Whitening Treatments to Ask Your Dentist For?

Walk into any Lakeview dentist office and you’ll be able to schedule a whitening gel procedure. Your dentist will use a cheek retractor to keep your skin away from your teeth, then coat your enamel with a potent hydrogen peroxide gel. Depending on the condition of your teeth, the dentist may also shine a bright light at your mouth to accelerate the process.

After 15–30 minutes, they’ll thoroughly wash the gel off and you’ll be free to go — unless you want an even brighter result. The dentist will compare your teeth against a shade guide when you first walk in and during every step of the procedure to achieve the look you’re looking for. Some people even have a second bleaching session right after the first. Either way, the results will be instantaneous, which isn’t something you could say about most at-home methods.

Still, there is one major disadvantage of getting a tooth brightening treatment at a family dental care office — it can get pretty expensive. Even so, at least everything would be happening under a dentist’s watchful eye. That’s another thing you can’t get with store-bought products. So is it even safe to try teeth whitening methods at home?

Safe Teeth Whitening Methods to Try at Home

As we have established, the best thing we can do to keep our teeth white is brush and floss them daily. However, there’s something to be said about the tools we use. For example, many have noted that electric toothbrushes yield better results. However, most people should be able to keep their teeth bright by having a good oral health routine and avoiding certain foods.

While we’re at it, though, we should also note that some foods can also improve the color of your teeth. Munching on apples can make you produce more saliva, which should rinse away fresh stains. You can also use nuts, celery, and carrots to scrub off stains after meals. Lastly, consuming dairy products should have a positive effect on your enamel.

While we’re on the subject of household items that might help you out in this case, there are several others we could mention. Some people swear by brushing their teeth with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar once a week. Others opt for a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixture instead.

But while these can be used as natural teeth whitening methods, they wouldn’t be as effective as professional dental treatments. So what are some of the more appropriate brightening products you might find in-store? Well, most people recommend:

  • Whitening toothpaste that contains abrasive particles that buff away stains
  • Whitening strips that can brighten your smile within a few uses
  • Gels they brush onto their teeth or apply to a jaw-shaped tray

Unlike toothpaste, the latter two types of products contain bleaching chemicals that can have some adverse effects.

What Are the Risks We Associate With Teeth Whitening Procedures?

According to the Wikipedia article about the process of teeth whitening, many of the chemical bleaching methods we have at our disposal come with certain risks. For example, strong hydrogen peroxide mixtures may increase your tooth and gum sensitivity. Because of that, your Lakeview dentist could recommend that you use a desensitizing toothpaste for a week or two before coming in for your treatment.

Hydrogen peroxide can also damage your gums and cheeks if you leave it on for too long. Additionally, it sometimes leads to uneven results, particularly if you’ve previously had some restorative work done on your teeth. But the worst thing these chemicals can do is damage your enamel and the porous dentine under it. That could cause a whole range of other issues you wouldn’t want to deal with!

Still, most of these risks are primarily associated with professional bleaching treatments. Even so, you should follow any home bleaching product instructions to the letter! Don’t ruin your oral health for the sake of a cosmetic change!

Do You Have to Use Teeth Whitening Methods?

Most of the time, teeth change color due to normal aging processes so you shouldn’t feel compelled to bleach them. If you decide to do it anyway, we would recommend consulting your dentist first. They’ll likely recommend having a brightening session in-office — which is, after all, your safest option.

Of course, if you happen to experience adverse effects, you don’t have to commit to a second session. In any case, a single appointment could be enough to get started on your road to restoring those pearly whites.

Besides, you can always follow up with more natural teeth whitening methods — don’t be afraid to experiment! If whitening strips sensitize your teeth, just try one of the many other options we’ve suggested in this article.

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